FORMER World No. 1 Lee Westwood and fellow past champion Andy Sullivan will tee it up alongside compatriot Eddie Pepperell at Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course when the Portugal Masters returns to Vilamoura this week.
Westwood, who hails from Worksop, will be making his first appearance at the event since winning what was his 30th professional title 10 years ago.
Meanwhile Sullivan, from Nuneaton, secured his third European Tour victory at Dom Pedro Victoria, in 2015, when he finished nine strokes clear of the chasing pack.
In 2009, Westwood ended a two-year wait for a European Tour victory as he finished two strokes ahead of Francesco Molinari after carding his third six-under par round of the tournament to post a 23-under total.
The win sparked a rich vein of form which saw him win the Race to Dubai that same season and then become the first Englishman since Nick Faldo in 1994 to become World No. 1 the following year.
“I have some happy memories of Dom Pedro Victoria after winning there in 2009,” said Westwood, who had 26 top-10 finishes between his 2007 British Masters title and his Portugal Masters victory.
“There had been a few close calls between those two wins, so I was really pleased to get over the line in Portugal.
“A lot of players talk about how this tournament has gone from strength-to -strength over the last few years.
“I’m looking forward to coming back and seeing how the tournament has grown. It also gives me a great opportunity to tune-up ahead of my defence of the Nedbank Golf Challenge, so I’m excited for the week.”
Sullivan, who was a teammate of Westwood’s at the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine, was denied back-to-back Portugal Masters titles three years ago when he finished just one stroke behind champion Padraig Harrington.
“The Portugal Masters is an event I always look for when the schedule is released,” said Sullivan. “It’s a great event and it’s always nice to return to a course where you’ve won before.
“I always bring my family to the event as they love it as much as I do – and it never hurts to have some extra support while competing.
“This tournament gives us an opportunity to start building some momentum ahead of the final three events of the year.”
Sullivan added: “I really want to end the season strongly and this event provides the platform for that.”
Two-time European Tour winner Eddie Pepperell has also confirmed he will return to Dom Pedro Victoria later this month as the Frilford Heath member looks to maintain his position inside the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking.
The trio will join Europe’s 2018 Ryder Cup Captain Thomas Bjørn in the field, as well as defending champion Tom Lewis, from Hertfordshire, and Essex history-maker Oliver Fisher, who carded the European Tour’s first 59 at last year’s tournament.
•Tickets for the Portugal Masters (October 24-27) are available from €8 for juniors (ages 12-17), €17 for concessions and €20 for adults. Season tickets are available for €24 for juniors, €50 for concessions and €60 for adults. To purchase tickets, click here.